2021 cannot be worse than the year we have all just endured, can it? We don’t need to remind ourselves of 2020, so instead we are going to look forwards and write down all the things we are going to put into motion in 2021.
I, for one, have never believed in New Year Resolutions. I feel like resolutions always set you up to fail. We make huge decisions at the beginning of the year to change bad habits/traits and by the 2nd week of January the devil is already poking fun at our half arsed attempt at change. And that is exactly what it is – half arsed, non focused, and lacking in commitment kind of change, that you feel you should make because it’s good for you! Intentions need committed action and until we understand how change can really benefit us, we can make as many resolutions as we like and we can bet you your last penny – nothing is going to change.
Here are two reasons to my theory. Dates and times are arbitrary, set by man, centuries ago, to fit their mould of life changing events or to make sense of the world around them. 2 what’s the point of waiting until the START of the year? You have 12 whole months ahead of you. A long gruelling year which will undoubtedly throw many obstacles your way to derail you. It absolutely is a huge task to undertake and especially when you have just come out of hibernation. The pressure is too much and the guilt, when things don’t go according to plan, will eat you up alive. Why would you want to set yourself up like that?
If we want to make a change, we should set the wheels in motion this very day. Go out for that lovely brisk walk, or run today and then continue it all week. Go have a shower, moisturise, put on your favourite perfume, dress, and make up if you like and do it today. Drink more hot water starting today. Don’t reach for that extra chocolate, make your choice today. You do not need to wait for the 1st of January to bring about positive change. The here and now is where the work starts, and when you make small changes you will see the results in real time. Results are measured by how you feel not in a time frame of a year that you have given yourself. We have to feel good about the choices we make otherwise they mean nothing and we are more likely to give up and be extra hard on ourselves for not being strong enough.
Our natural state is happiness. When we are sad it’s because we realise something is wrong and so shifting our perspective is necessary. We shift perspective with small incremental changes daily. This helps to reduce the feeling of making huge sacrifices, and that feels better and more manageable to the mind and body. When we set goals in a new year, we notice that they are often quite brutal. We have over indulged during the Christmas period, been naughty so to speak and we decide the only way to get over the guilt, of scoffing one too many chocolates, is to go GI Joe on our bodies and souls. We forget to be kind to ourselves. However, if we introduce the changes now and slowly, as if they were already a part of our every day life, then the idea of change is easier to digest on the 1st of January. Ceasing the moment helps us to battle the critical inner voice and diminishes all the excuses we tell ourselves which hinder our start let alone our progress, and it puts us ahead of the game.
With that said – here is what my 2021 will look like (they are all under way – remember the spraf about why wait?!).
- Read more.
A few years back I made a promise to myself to read a book a month. I stuck to it until the work schedule became quite heavy. Reading is something I adore and I am going to up the ante. What’s more, I have an extensive reading list of all the books I want to read – I already have one of them on the go. So I am really looking forward to further expanding my mind and discovering new worlds and ideas embedded within the sheets of different books.
- Become a better Actor
It goes without saying as an actor it is my responsibility to bring a character to life. It’s what I get paid for. I want to make better use of my time and find different techniques of how to develop my character(s) further. Forget messing about on twitter and instgram there is serious character excavation to happen. I am gratefully in work, at the moment, so I have the opportunity to keep working at my craft. To keep the level of enquiry and discovery alive, which will bring nuance and depth to the character I am playing. I also know honing my craft benefits me to the nth degree. The more I learn, the confident I become, the more I am able to bring to the table in the future.
- Restrict the power social media has over me.
I restricted my social media accounts on the 24th of December. The noose around my neck was beginning to tighten and I needed to slip out of it before it strangled me. I could no longer handle reading the racism and general nastiness towards our human race. More here Ramblings on Christmas Eve. I switched off all notifications and moved both twitter and Instagram apps from my home page to another page. I checked out for a bit. And although I feel somewhat better for it, it did also upset me, because I actually like social media. I find it useful for many things; finding work, promoting my work, engaging with people, spreading good positive news, sharing funny memes. I help my peers too by celebrating their successes and speaking about our industry and other injustices in the world. But, this last year has seen this government callously dismantle humanity from the inside, and I feel sad that somewhere we allowed that to happen. People who had never used social media before became keyboard warriors, gained confidence in the careless decisions made by government and felt bold enough to start sprouting hate about heritage, the arts, young people, old people, Brexit, fishing, viruses and what nots – without knowing how their own history is linked to the entire globe. And, although these people have a very low following and fat for brains their words still hurt and made me angry. It is not a good look being angry 247. So I stepped away from the aimless angry scrolling. You cannot fight with stupid, even after the year we’ve had.
- Return to the teachings of the Alphabet of Abundance
I am glad that Lockdown 1.0 gave us the opportunity to participate in 21 Days of Abundance. The reminder that Abundance is all around us is needed now more than ever. So I shall revisit the Alphabet of Abundance series and remind myself that the world is full of beautifully kind, warm people. People who will stand up in the face of injustice, people who will speak up when something is not right and people who will always choose humanity above their own greed and need for power. There are such people in the world and I will seek them and their words out, and align my thoughts and heart with theirs.
We cannot change the world, but we can change ourselves and look for beauty where others fail to find it. We can wait to hear the birds singing in the morning instead of plugging into technology to start the day. We can choose to treat each other with love and kindness. We have only each other and we have only this planet, better to try and understand one another and learn to live together in order to preserve humanity and our planet. It’s a miserable life otherwise.
Here are some other Acts of Kindness we will be doing more of:
- Revive the Art of Letter Writing
- Meeting the eyes of a stranger and smiling (the mask can hide your mouth but not the true radiance of a genuine smile)
- Slowing down to let someone cross the road (it’s also a metaphor for “slowing down in general”)
- Check in with friends via letters/phone calls/facetimes
- Write a poem a day. We may even publish some for you to read.
- Be kinder to my folks. Living together has been hard for all of us, this year. I just need to manage my expectations and remember that my parents think and do things differently to me. They are much older and so cant jump at doing something at the drop of a hat. They need time and I must exercise patience.
And that how we move forwards from now on in.
Enjoy your New Years. With love